Health Minister Michelle O’Neill has today announced the appointment of Hamilton Architects as the Design Team for the early works in respect of the Community Safety College (NICSC) at Desertcreat.
Speaking during a visit to the site near Cookstown, Minister O’Neill welcomed the progress made saying: “The appointment of Hamilton Architects as Design Team for the early works is a positive step forward in progressing the development of the NIFRS training facility at Desertcreat. The total forecast capital investment for Desertcreat is approximately £45 million.”
The design for the new Community Safety College includes a fire station, teaching accommodation, multi-purpose training warehouse, hot-house, swift water and skid-pan facilities.
The Minister continued saying: “Together with the enabling works scheduled to start on site, the appointment of the Design Team further demonstrates the continued commitment to build a fit for purpose training facility for the Fire and Rescue Service. This complex project has been a long time in the planning and not without difficulty, and it is fantastic to now see tangible progress on the ground.
“I have recently met local elected representatives from the surrounding area and I am particularly struck by the ongoing local support for the project.
“A highly trained workforce is at the core of any successful organisation, and no more than the Fire and Rescue Service, who deliver such a vital public service. I am pleased to note that the training centre, once completed and operational, will provide a facility in which our fire-fighters can learn the skills they need to keep the public and themselves safe.”
Dale Ashford, Interim Chief Fire & Rescue Officer said: “The safety of the public and our fire-fighters is our number one priority at emergency incidents. We invest heavily in training our fire-fighters throughout their careers, equipping them with the practical fire-fighting and rescue skills needed to tackle the range of emergency incidents we attend – fires, road traffic collisions, flooding and other specialist rescue incidents.
“Our current training facilities are no longer suitable for our future training needs and a new dedicated training facility is required.
“We welcome the appointment of the design team to begin to create that bespoke fire and rescue training facility at Desertcreat which will meet our training needs today and for the years ahead. We thank the Health Minister and local representatives for their continued support. We look forward to working with Hamilton Architects to make the vision a reality.”
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